The EPP Across Languages [Dissertation]
Julianne Doner
July 2019

The Extended Projection Principle (EPP) formalizes the requirement for a subject in every clause. In this dissertation, I develop a typology of EPP effects based on a sample of typologically, geographically, and genetically diverse languages. I define the EPP as the obligatory movement of some element into the inflectional domain, and argue that the EPP can vary in three different dimensions: (i) whether an argument or a predicate is the goal of the EPP-probe, (ii) whether the goal is a head or a phrase, and (iii) whether a larger constituent is pied-piped. I demonstrate that these three dimensions interact to create a total of seven different attested EPP types across languages. I demonstrate that intra-linguistic alternations in EPP type are attested, which provide evidence that these types are functionally equivalent on some level. I also present the hypothesis that the EPP type of a language should be predictable based on other properties of the language. As such, I discuss several properties that co-occur with particular EPP types cross-linguistically. For example, predicate-EPP languages pattern together by having a high, defective T head, which results in a set of shared properties, including: (i) a lack of non-finite clauses, (ii) high or preverbal tense marking, (iii) a T merged with C, and (iv) defective definiteness marking. On the other hand, I show that the null subject type of a language does not correlate with EPP type. Finally, I also propose two different functional purposes for the EPP. First, I propose that the EPP has an anchoring function, linking the utterance to the world by raising an element marked with an index to a position of prominence. I present the hypothesis that all operations within the inflectional domain have an anchoring function. Second, I argue that the dichotomy between predicate and argument EPP languages can be explained if we understand the EPP as a high predication operation, which raises either the predicate or the argument to a position which c-commands the other. I then propose that all anchoring operations, including the EPP, have dual functions, thus incorporating the two functions of the EPP.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004718
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: University of Toronto dissertation
keywords: epp, anchoring, verb-raising, null subjects, grammatical universals, verb-initial languages, high predication, syntax
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